Leonardo DiCaprio urges cities to become models for global sustainability

by Kim Megson | 22 Apr 2016

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has championed the importance of sustainable cities in the global battle against climate change.

Today (22 April) 130 countries will sign the landmark agreement reached in Paris last December to tackle global warming. Reflecting on this breakthrough in the Guardian newspaper, DiCaprio cautioned that it is “just the beginning” in the drive to avoid “the catastrophic impacts” of rising temperatures.

The Oscar winning actor outlined five principles to limit climate change further: reducing and pricing carbon emissions, accelerating the transition to renewable energy, protecting vital ecosystems, taking aggressive short-term action and making our cities global models for sustainability.

“Over half the world’s population lives in dense urban areas that generate more than 70 per cent of global emissions,” he wrote. “Any long-term changes must involve major cities from both hemispheres. Already, many are serving as models. Vancouver, Sydney, Stockholm, and Las Vegas have already committed to using 100 per cent renewable energy in the coming decades. Other cities must follow their lead.

“These are real solutions, many of which are already being implemented in parts of the world to great success. It is up to political and community leaders, businesses, and citizens everywhere to act as guardians not just of this new, aggressive set of standards for climate action – but as guardians of our future.”

DiCaprio added we must safeguard our forests and oceans, reward innovators and entrepreneurs who develop and deploy cleaner technologies, and invest in renewable energy to “usher in a new era of economic promise and security for people around the world.”

“We know what needs to be done,” he wrote, “and together, we must stand up and fight for these meaningful, effective solutions. Failing to do so will unjustly leave our children a world that is hotter, less diverse and more violent and unjust – all things we can avoid with bold action now.”

DiCaprio is famous for his environmental campaigning and is a longstanding supporter of sustainable design. He is currently developing an eco-resort on his private island in Belize in partnership with wellness real estate firm Delos and architects McLennan Design.

Leisure architects, designers and investors around the world are increasingly focusing on sustainable design at city scale.

Atelier Ten environmental design consultant Patrick Bellew recently told CLAD that the competitive nature of property developers has benefitted the sustainability of buildings, with rival firms fighting to be “the greenest, the biggest and the best.”

Recently unveiled innovative ideas from architects include tree-covered towers, non-chemical desalination technologyn, ‘edible’ gardens at sports stadiums and the comprehensive planting of plants and greenery in disused parts of cities.

US president Barack Obama, who has made tackling climate change a key goal of his time in office, has promoted the advancement of liveable cities by proposing higher taxes on oil firms and more funding for green transportation projects.

Leonardo DiCaprio  climate change  global sustainability  sustainable design  citiy design  Paris Agreement 
Related stories

EXCLUSIVE: Atelier Ten founder Patrick Bellew tells CLAD about the unstoppable rise of sustainable architecture

Stefano Boeri: Vertical forests are the future of our cities

Greening Madrid to fight climate change

Arup outline vision for greener global cities

Delos introduces wellness building standards to China

Delos plans US$2bn wellness community in Tampa

Leonardo DiCaprio unveils Belize eco-resort plans, designed by Jason McLennan

Delos and Mayo Clinic pair up for wellbeing product testing lab

DiCaprio purchases multi-million dollar home designed around wellness

FEATURE: Interview – Paul Scialla

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has championed the importance of sustainable cities in the global battle against climate change. Today (22 April) 130 countries will sign the landmark agreement reached in Paris last December to tackle global warming. Reflecting on this breakthrough in the Guardian newspaper, DiCaprio cautioned that it is “just the beginning” in the drive to avoid “the catastrophic impacts” of rising temperatures. The Oscar winning actor outlined five
Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio warns the battle against climate change has only just begun / Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7602     
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7602     
company profile
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Unrelenting drive to be the best at what we do underpins activity throughout our vertically integrated business life cycle.
BluGalaxy a Division of Blu Spas
Blu Spas
This animation showcases the beautiful concept design of BluGalaxy Spa.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
De Portzamparc designed
the Museum of Brittany, which opened in Rennes in 2006
Elizabeth de Portzamparc
"We need to stop the destruction of our world through predatory practices. We need to think of the future"

The architect behind Nimes’ Musée de la Romanité on designing to counter loneliness and the need for more cultural buildings

Many of the cottages feature earth-sheltered designs
"Sam was such a champion for the team, and my goal is simply to carry that same torch"

As Blackberry Mountain resort opens in Tennessee, we find out why the project is a deeply personal one for owner Mary Celeste Beall

The Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant features 12m-high floor-to-ceiling windows
Dana Kalczak
"If we had focused entirely on high tech in the hotel, the artistry we normally strive for would have been compromised"

Four Seasons’ vice president of design speaks to CLAD about working with Norman Foster and creating magical moments

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
The Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, US
José Almiñana
"We are committed to designing evocative landscapes informed by the best environmental science"

The Andropogon principal on pushing the boundaries of landscape design for the benefit of humans and nature

The ‘Dream Factory’ studio is located in a former glass factory in Rotterdam’s harbour
"I want to demonstrate that creativity is our true capital as humans "

Rather than feeling fearful and helpless about the future, we must design a way out of the environmental problems we have created, argues the innovative Dutch designer, artist and inventor Daan Roosegaarde

Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

The book was published in 2019 by RIBA Publishing
Elina Grigoriou
"Temperature, noise level and colour affect our stress levels. As designers we should be asking ourselves, how do these things match up?"

The London-based interior designer and wellness expert hopes her new book will help readers understand how to design with wellbeing in mind

cladkit product news
Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
The team combines lighting, video, sound and special effects, with scenic and architectural elements, to create unforgettable visual experiences
Megan Whitby
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, ...
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
Atelier Alain Ellouz launches handcrafted precious stone lighting collection
LYRA has a sleek, cylindrical design complete with an elegant brass dimming switch
Megan Whitby
LYRA, GAMA, MONA and ATHENA are the first pieces from designer Atelier Alain Ellouz’s new.édition collection of handcrafted stone lighting ...
cladkit product news
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
Matteo Thun grows Allaperto collection with new suspended outdoor armchair
Megan Whitby
Allaperto, the lounge collection spawned by the partnership between design studios, Matteo Thun, Ethimo and Antonio Rodriguez, has been expanded ...
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils first glimpses of Mother of Pearl decorative surfaces inspired by the four seasons
The new winter design is finished with naturally occurring hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes
Megan Whitby
Siminetti has collaborated with British designer Chrisanna London to create a luxury Mother of Pearl decorative surface range inspired by ...
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
ASPA International launches handheld UV-C light disinfection lamp
The compact plug-in product can be used easily in a commercial spa or domestic setting to disinfect surfaces with UV-C light
Megan Whitby
For over 30 years, ASPA International has designed and built high-quality spas for the hotel, health and wellness sectors. During ...
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates